I don't know. I think I'd put this in the category of "Did they really need to spend money on research to figure this out??" I suppose I shouldn't be a pain in the butt about it, but it feels obvious. Anyway, ignore me and read on:
"A study published in the current issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing shows that depression symptoms worsen in PPD patients when their quality of sleep declines.
Sleep deprivation can hamper a mother's ability to care for her infant, as judgment and concentration decline. Sleep-deprived mothers also may inadvertently compromise their infants' sleep quality because infants often adopt their mothers' circadian sleep rhythms.
All new mothers experience some sleep loss following childbirth, as their estrogen and progesterone hormone levels plunge. They typically spend 20 percent more of the day awake than average during the first six weeks postpartum. Postpartum women wake more frequently and have less dream sleep than non-postpartum women, with women in their first month postpartum spending only 81 percent of their time in bed actually sleeping. Neurotransmitters that influence sleep quality also affect mood, raising sleep-deprived mothers' risk for depression …
Study author Bobbie Posmontier of Drexel University compared sleep patterns of 46 postpartum women, half with symptoms of PPD and half without. Sleep patterns were monitored for seven consecutive days. Results showed that mothers suffering from PPD took longer to fall asleep and slept for shorter periods. The worse their sleep quality, the worse their depression.
Posmontier recommends clinicians treating women for PPD to address the importance of adequate sleep. 'Mothers can develop a plan to have other family members help care for the baby at night,' she said. 'They also should practice good sleep hygiene. That includes going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding naps and steering clear of caffeine, exercise, nicotine and alcohol within four hours of bedtime.'"
I completely agree with the issue of sleep management for any new mom, but especially those moms who have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. My husband and I had a plan: I stayed up with the baby two nights in a row, and he stayed up with the baby the next two nights while I slept in a room without the monitor. And yes, he had a job to go to in the morning. But he sacrificed so that our whole family could be healthy as soon as possible. Let me tell you, a full night's sleep does a lot for your ability to cope. Husbands out there: You can balk now if you want to, and not stay up to help with the baby. But if you do, you may pay for it later with a completelyincapacitated wife. Remember, thevow reads"in sickness and in health."